[kwlug-disc] Linux-Format Magazine

R. Brent Clements rbclemen at gmail.com
Wed Mar 4 18:16:00 EST 2009

A truely "free software licence" would imply that portions of the
work, namely articles, could be freely used under the same conditions
that code segments can be used in free software.  Obviously they don't
want their articles highjacked and republished.

I would evaluate their actions this way--They would like to give away
this issue of their magazine in electronic form over the internet as a
promotion.  Although they wish to retain copyright control over their
work, they believe that the use of an existing DRM scheme is not in
the best interest of this promotion.  By releasing the document
without a DRM they are consigned to the fact that distribution that
they cannot track or control will take place, and the benefits of the
promotion outweigh the problems that might arise.

Also keep in mind that the disc that is included will certainly
contain only free software that is included on the disk under the
terms of the GPL or other F/LOSS licence, and of course that licence
will still apply to this download.


On Wed, Mar 4, 2009 at 5:20 PM, Chris Frey <cdfrey at foursquare.net> wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 04, 2009 at 11:36:59AM -0500, Gary Walsh wrote:
>> The current issue of Linux-Format Magazine and its attached CD is
>> available for free bittorrent download till 23:59:59 GMT today.
>> http://www.tuxradar.com/content/linux-format-free-download-24-hours-only
> Interesting, thanks for the link.  From the comments on the site:
>        Catch or no catch?
>        ConcernedCarrot (not verified) - March 3, 2009 @ 6:34pm
>        "(legally at least!)"
>        Are you hinting that it will not be legal for me to share my
>        downloaded copy with other people? How does this reflect the
>        "No DRM. No cost. No catches."-line?
>        Re: Catch or no catch?
>        TuxRadar - March 3, 2009 @ 6:56pm
>        There will be no DRM on it, meaning that you can run it on any
>        device you want and it won't "time out" or something horrible
>        like that. It's yours. We're giving you a personal copy for
>        free. We're not giving away the copyright to the article, if
>        that's what you're asking - that means you can't redistribute
>        the PDFs freely. This isn't a "catch", this is just standard
>        copyright law.
>        However clearly without any DRM there's nothing stopping you
>        from giving them to everyone, torrenting them, printing them,
>        selling them, whatever. We'd rather everyone obtained the PDFs
>        directly from us, but we can't stop you redistributing them for
>        eternity. If someone does decide to put the whole thing on The
>        Pirate Bay in 48 hours, I doubt we'd be particularly upset! ;)
>        This is something that Magnatune pioneered and we're happy to
>        follow their lead.
> This confuses me.  It almost looks like they are encouraging someone to
> "pirate" their magazine and put it on the Pirate Bay.  This doesn't make a
> lot of sense to me... why not just keep their own torrent server going?
> Why not make this issue truely digitally free?  With a free software
> license.  In this case, they could at least track the popularity of their own
> free offer, instead of making it a limited offer and forcing those that want to
> share into the pirate realm.
> If they really would "rather everyone obtained the PDFs directly from us"
> why make it a limited offer?  (Other than to drive up peak demand, which
> could be another promotional tactic.)
> They could make this a promotional thing.  One issue a year is made permanently
> available via torrent in a PDF format.  This would be a great way for someone
> to try it out before subscribing.
> Am I the only one out to lunch here? :-)  It's like they are scared of losing
> control, so they only open the gate for a few minutes, not realizing the
> horse has already bolted.
> - Chris
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